How an Answering Service Can Enhance Healthcare
October 23, 2018
Today’s Telephone Answering Services Help Make Healthcare More Available and Affordable
The telephone is rapidly becoming a valuable tool to enhance healthcare by improving outcomes, saving money, and being more responsive. Some call centers focus exclusively on healthcare, but that doesn’t rule out the critical, cost-effective role that answering services can play to help deliver better care faster and for less.
Consider these ways telephone answering services can help enhance healthcare.
Provide 24/7 Availability
Answering services are available around-the-clock, 365 days a week, including holidays. If your patients have a concern, your answering service is there to answer their call anytime of the day or night. When patients have a felt need, their first impulse is to pick up the phone and seek help.
The last things they want to encounter are an answering machine, voicemail jail, or an endless array of nonsensical prompts that stand in the way of them getting the information they need. Instead they want a real person to talk to, one who can understand their needs, offer empathy, and help them achieve the solution they seek.
One key service that answering services can do to enhance healthcare is set appointments when your office is closed. They can fill open slots for the next day to help maximize your productivity and increase billable services.
They can also cancel and reschedule appointments. Why would you want your answering service to take an appointment cancellation? Because if the patient isn’t going to show, the sooner you know about it, the greater the likelihood you’ll be able to fill it.
Your staff can do this the forty or so hours that you’re open each week, but what about the rest of the time? Let your answering service help you keep your schedule full and your staff productive.
Send Appointment Reminders
No-shows are expensive and frustrating. They produce idle time for your staff and result in inefficiency. No one wants an open slot. Reminding patients of their appointments helps increase the percentage of kept appointments. While no solution is guaranteed, timely reminders from your answering service via phone call, email, and text message can significantly decrease the number of missed appointments and enhance healthcare.
Handle Call Escalation and Emergencies
In addition to taking messages for routine calls and giving out information to callers, telephone answering services can also dispatch emergency medical situations to on-call healthcare personnel. By providing this service, answering services help physicians better care for their patients and keep them connected to the practice. These benefits enhance healthcare for both the physician’s practice and their patients.
Patient Check Up Calls
Answering services can also place calls to homebound patients and those recovering from surgeries and procedures. While your answering service staff is not qualified to offer medical advice or make assessments, they can cost-effectively alert trained medical personnel to the possibility of a problem or concern. This keeps highly skilled nursing staff from making routine calls, which saves them for situations that demand their expertise.
Screen Calls for Telephone Triage Call Centers
Some answering services serve as a front end to telephone triage call centers. Answering services can take all incoming calls for a practice, handling them as appropriate. This includes taking messages, setting appointments, and reaching on-call personnel with urgent situations.
However, what about those patients who want to talk to medical personnel? A triage call center can handle these situations nicely, keeping non-urgent patient concerns out of the ER, while making sure that potentially negative health situations aren’t ignored. Though your answering service staff isn’t qualified to handle these calls, they are qualified to determine which calls should go to a triage nurse.
Answering services can do much more than just take messages. They’re rapidly becoming an essential link in offering innovative ways to serve the healthcare industry and enhance healthcare across the United States.
Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry, helps clients grow their revenue and optimize their business. Contact Janet at email@example.com or 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.
Use an Answering Service to Cover Sick Days
Unlike a vacation, which employees schedule in advance, no one plans a sick day—or at least most people don’t. In most cases a sick day is not a p...
What Is a Call Center?
If your business operates outside the call center industry, you may have trouble answering this question of “What is a call center?” But it’s an...
Implement an Agent Development Program
Call center agents, your public-facing staff, are key to your call center’s effectiveness and fuel the success of the overall organization. Successf...
Agent Success Starts With Great Training
In the call center arena, your frontline people are key to success. This starts on day one of their employment in their initial training. Here are som...
How Not to Sell Your Telephone Answering Service
There are some commonsense steps to take when selling your telephone answering service, just as there are when selling anything. Common key elements i...
Why You Should Consolidate Siloed Call Centers
It’s likely your hospital system has at least one call center, a centralized place that handles calls. This may be for a department, a building, the...
Use an Answering Service to Schedule Appointments
Some businesses and professionals live or die by the number of appointments they have each day. For them, an appointment is a billable moment. A full ...
Use an Answering Service to Cover Staff Meetings
It’s a dilemma. You want all of your staff to attend your staff meetings, but that leaves no one left to answer the phone when it rings. After all, ...